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Qld rail law backdated to protect tilt train crash witnesses

<p>The Queensland Government has backdated new rail safety investigation legislation to include Queensland Railway’s (QR) tilt train crash on November 16.</p> <p>The laws bring Queensland’s legislation into line with the corresponding federal legislation.</p> <p>State transport minister Paul Lucas said the backdating of the new law meant witnesses to the QR tilt train crash could give information to investigators without it being used as evidence in other legal proceedings.</p> <p>"I encourage them to speak frankly to the safety investigators," Mr Lucas said. </p> <p>"But it [the legislation&#93 also requires them to answer all questions truthfully under threat of fines of up to $15,000 if they don’t."</p> <p>The purpose of the legislation was to find and rectify the cause of the accident rather than attributing blame, he said.</p> <p>More than 100 people were injured when the high-speed tilt train derailed on November 16 about 50km north of Bundaberg.</p> <p>Investigators last week released preliminary findings from the locomotive’s data recorder indicated it was travelling at 112km&#47h on a section of track that had a 60km&#47h speed limit.</p> <p>The release of that information infuriated rail unions, who believed the drivers were being scapegoated, and they threatened to take industrial action.</p> <p>They withdrew that threat after meeting QR CEO Bob Scheuber last Friday (November 19). </p> <br />